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Wallis Athletic Dress Sewalong

2 Lessons taught by Wallis

145 Seamwork members have watched this class.

Work alongside other sewists by participating in the Seamwork community. Ask and answer questions, share your progress, get inspired by real-life sewists, and post your finished projects.

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Lesson 1: Prepare to Sew

The Wallis dress and romper is a playful, flexible design that leaves the styling options up to you. Show off an athletic print (or two or three), or choose a casual rib knit for an everyday outfit. With this pattern, you can make something comfy to work out, wear around the house, run errands, or live out your cosplay dreams. Again, the design possibilities are up to you and your style!

This pattern is very fitted and relies on negative ease to conform to your body’s curves. Here are some tips for fitting!

Here are some tips for fitting:

  • Measure the leg opening for the shorts and use a stitch that has good stretch.

  • To adjust the romper’s length, place the pattern at your waist and adjust above and below the waist. Pay attention to the rise and the length of the torso.

  • If you’re making the romper, don’t raise the neckline. You have to step through it, so it needs to fit over your hips.

Fabrics to shop:
Look for medium-weight knits with 4-way stretch and at least 75% stretch, like cotton spandex, bamboo jersey, rayon jersey, or nylon spandex. Get adventurous and underline some power mesh with a solid color for a designer athleticwear lookalike. Or color-block prints and solids to create your own unique look.

Fabrics to avoid:
Avoid thin fabrics or knits that do not have at least 75% stretch.

If you want one more garment out of this pattern, download the member bonus to get a waistband to create a skort.


Hi everyone. My name is Wallis and I am one of the patternmakers here at Seamwork. Today we’ll be sewing the Wallis dress and romper. So what’s really exciting about this garment is there’s a lot of different versions. So version one is the entire dress with shorts underneath.

Version two is just the romper without the skirt. And then the bonus features a waistband piece so that you can make either just a skirt on its own or a pair of shorts on their own. The neckline and armholes are both finished with bands, and as you can see, the front and the back feature a scoop neckline and that’s so that you make sure that it’s able to fit over your hips. So be careful adjusting the neckline if that’s something that you would normally do because you want to make sure there’s enough ease so that you can slide it over your hips. First, we’re going to talk about fabric and materials. Quarter inch knit elastic, athletic knit, or any knit that has at least 75% stretch, thread, and stretch needles.

On page eight of the instructions, you’ll find a stretch guide. You will want to cut a four by four piece of your fabric and make sure holding it along the line the end over here on the left side that you can stretch it to at least 75%. So you want to make sure that it stretches all the way to at least the bold line when you hold it against here.

If it’s a little bit easier, you can fold your square in half, put that along there and stretch.

If you’re using an athletic knit fabric, keep in mind that you want to pay attention to the degree of greatest stretch, otherwise marked on the pattern as the DOGS. On page 17 of the instructions, we explain DOGS, which stands for the direction of greatest stretch. So for a lot of times on athletic fabrics, the degree of greatest stretch is actually not going to be with the grainline going what is traditionally the correct way of up and down. Sometimes on athletic fabrics, you have to turn it so that your grainlines are going from left to right instead of up and down, because oftentimes this is actually the direction of greatest stretch on your fabric. So just double check before you cut out your pattern pieces because you want to make sure that the stretch is able to go over the circumference of your body and not the length.

The only changes I made to this pattern are that I started with a size four at the bust graded to a size six in the waist and the hips. I also shortened my shorts pieces and the skirt pieces an inch, added a little bit to the rise and then blended to the back rise. And I also shortened the front so it does not dip down as far in the front.

Once you’ve sewn your Wallis dress, don’t forget to visit the community so that you can post pictures and don’t forget that you can always ask questions there as well while you’re sewing up your Wallis. Let’s get started!

Wallis Athletic Dress Sewalong

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

  • Wallis pattern

  • All-purpose polyester sewing thread

  • Stretch sewing machine needle

  • 1 1/4 yards (1.1 meters) of 1/4” (6 mm) knit elastic


Work alongside other sewists by participating in the Seamwork community. Ask and answer questions, share your progress, get inspired by real-life sewists, and post your finished projects.

Join Seamwork